Trail resident Joe Mauro hauled in this massive bull trout on Arrow Lake earlier this week. Submitted photo.

West Kootenay Fishing Report: Winter fishing heating up

Winter is prime time to hit big Kootenay lakes for large bull trout and Gerrard rainbows

The West Kootenay Fishing Report is provided by Kerry Reed of Reel Adventures Fishing Charters. Go to or call 250-505-4963.

Another fun month of fishing in November was had by all. And December has been much the same.

Kootenay Lake: The fishing has been consistent for rainbows and we are also hooking into a few bull trout each day to compliment the catch.

We’ve been having fun with some of our corporate groups as they have been joining us for their year end festivities. It always adds to the entertainment when you have a large group of people and can place some friendly wagers on the day.

Our last big group enjoyed a great day on the water, with both boats catching a lot of fish and even got to enjoy a bonfire on the beach during our quick shore lunch. Not bad for winter.

Lately our days have been pretty consistent, with 10-15 fish coming to the boat. Rainbows between 2-4 pounds and bull trout up to 8 pounds have been fairly steady.

The weather has been great and we look forward to more fun trips throughout the holiday season.

Note: There’s still openings for your holiday fishing trip, as well as gift certificates available for the Christmas season.

Stay tuned …

Related read: Fall, a great time to hit West Kootenay lakes

Columbia River:

We managed a couple days on the river in November and they produced fish each time. Mostly just fishing from the shore, as we didn’t feel like running around in an open boat in the cooler weather.

Still getting the odd fish on the fly rod, but lately have been having better luck with the float rods and spinning rods.

The usual Columbia River rainbows between 1-3 pounds have been caught.

Hoping to get out a few times still this winter on the mild days, as this is still a great time to fish the river.

Arrow Lakes: Boats have been pulling in bull trout up to 13 pounds, with multiple fish caught daily, and even the odd rainbow up to seven pounds. A slow troll with Lyman plugs between 40 and 100 feet seem to be doing the trick of late.

Great winter fishing ahead.

What are they biting on?

On the lake, its been a mix of flies, plugs, spoons. My favourite bucktails have been the black/white or grey/white colours. Lucky numbers have been #210, 215, 216, & 228.

Also on the surface for rainbows, we have been running my favorite Gibbs/Delta spoons. Gold/fire stripe, or gold/fire wing have been working great.

And on the downriggers for bull trout, we have been mostly using my favorite Gibbs/Delta flasher in the lemon lime color or STS color. Paired up with my green spatter back hoochies, they have been a deadly combo.

Best depths as of late have been: 81’, 101’, and 121’.

Water temp is hanging in the mid 40 degrees, so the fish should stay active throughout the month. Although as it cools down, remember to adjust your speed accordingly.

And on the River, its been the usual mix of float fishing with bait, or bottom bouncing with bait which has produced the most fish, as well as a few good fish on the fly rods using streamers.

Stay tuned for more winter reports.

Tight Lines …

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